The news hype around these revelations can be defended considering news as a ‘voice for the voiceless’ (Ward, 2009) but when does scientific observation, become controversy and not a waste of this medium for a voice. There are years of research that argue for and against the fluoridation of water, one more bit of evidence, shouldn’t make headlines.
The media attention around the topic of the adverse effects of fluoridation of water can be seen as fear-mongering. Fear mongering by the media is a way for the company running the story to create ‘hype’ around a trivial issue to keep the story in the public sphere so they can continue to run the story. While this is not illegal, it has various ethical implications, especially when the story appears much more important than it really is, over shadowing other important stories.
Dreher identifies that news is valued more for its cultural proximity, relevance, rarity, continuity, elite references, negativity, composition, and personalisation (2013). It can be said that fluoridation of water has received its unjustified media attention because of these elements. Because of this, Dreher implies that news such as water fluoridation is given more media value than equally as important foreign news stories.
It is important that as media consumers we are aware of global news regardless of it’s proximity and relevance to ourselves. I suggest finding and using regular news networks that, have a global network, are preferably independent and use multiple mediums.
How many comedy series from outside of your own country do you watch?
Personally, I’m Australian and watch some Japanese, British and American comedy shows but I hardly find them as funny as some of my local shows such as ‘Summer Heights High’, ‘Hey Hey It’s Saturday’ and ‘The Paul Hogan Show’, Australian shows.
Susan Purdie identifies comedy as the breaking of rules involving behaviours and language, although these rules are often subject to cultural barriers. Much like the advertising fail, “where the bloody hell are you?” one cultures joke may be another culture’s insult.
Getting Angry at ‘Angry Boys’
Chris Lilley’s ‘Angry Boys’ was met with some criticism in the US, specifically the character of S’mouse, an African American Rapper and a parody of the mainstream hip hop industry. Looking at this cultural content from different nationalities perspectives can cause different responses.
Comedy is said to be characterised to a locality, meaning Australian comedy is different to American comedy because of location specific references. Other elements that should be taken into consideration include political views and popular demographic. America is infamous for an inability to laugh at themselves where as a lot of Australian comedy is based on mocking our own stereotypes.
There are cases where comedy can breach borders because of a similar ‘cultural DNA’. This means that two cultures that share similarities can sympathise and understand each others comedy. For example, Australia being almost like an evolution from UK culture, people from a UK culture can understand some of the irony behind Australia’s stereotyping comedy.
As we can see in this video, Irish comedian Dylan Moran at the Melbourne comedy festival combining his comedy from the UK and Ireland with Australian comedy for an Australian audience with relative ease. Another thing to note is the abundance of his jokes that ‘mock’ Australia, Australians and Australian ‘things’.
How To Go Global
Comedy is lost in translation when certain specific are just not understood by a culture. This can be overcome be sharing the shows format but localising the script.
With this shows such as ‘The Office’ can be successfully translated, in this case from a dark UK version to a much brighter US version.
National media industries all over are being faced with a kind of cultural homogenisation and as such are now producing local content for a larger audience to associate a global audience. With the rate of globalisation on the rise, pop media is churning out trends anyone can participate in to a point where these trends are infiltrating cultures in a kind of cultural imperialism (often seen as flowing from the west to the east). As a response to this, audiences are turning to the internet to find something ‘refreshing’, this is where glocalised content comes in.
David Schaefer and Kavita Karan discuss the topic of glocalisation and hybridity in their article, “Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows”. They identify glocalisation as, “where human agents self-consciously and creatively combine local with global cultural formations in a bid to subvert potentially homogenizing forces associated with cultural imperialism”. In this, Shaefer and Karan are saying by hybridising local content with popular global trends, film industries such as India and Hong Kong’s are making a place for themselves in the market instead of conforming to westernised patterns.
The final thing to think about is cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation is the act of taking elements of a culture and using them in a way that doesn’t incorporate their original meaning, essentially, stealing cultural aspects. This would happen in a film that takes influence from a culture but doesn’t reference or address it appropriately. The popularisation of an appropriated culture can devoid it of meaning as a culture, re working it as all access pop material. E.g tribal tattoos without reason.
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